How to Become a Freelance Writer

Being a freelance writer can be a lucrative and exciting career; this job allows a person to work at his or her convenience and in his or home. That is a dream job for many, but a person needs to do a lot of work before becoming a freelance writer. The first thing that a person needs to do is to make sure that he or she has a talent and passion for writing because pursuing something that one does not have a talent or drive for will surely lead to disappointment and failure. A person also needs to make sure that he or she has the right education, the right work experience, knows how to promote his or her work, and network with other people.

Education Background/Training

A person that wants to become a freelance writer needs to make sure that he or she has the right education and training for the craft. While having a degree in journalism or English is ideal, it is often not required to be a successful essay writer. However, a person should try to take some English and journalism classes to get familiar with different styles of writing and to improve in spelling and grammar. It is always good to be under the supervision of an instructor.The person should also try to write in his or her spare time as often as possible because this will also help a person improve his or her writing.

Work Experience

Just like all other jobs, freelance writing requires experience to be successful at it. A person serious about a career in freelance writing should be taking opportunities to write every chance he or she gets, and the earlier a person gets started is the better. For example, a student that is still in high school or college should try writing for the school paper and adults should try submitting their work to a local newspaper. This will help gain experience and it will also give a person a chance to receive feedback in his or her writing.

Promoting Writing

This a great way for a novice writer to break into the freelance world. All serious writers should have their own personal website and/or blog. This allows an individual to showcase his or her work, get his or her name out there, and allows people to see the personality of the writer.

Networking

It is always good to talk to someone that has been where you are trying to go. Social networking sites make it possible for people to network with freelance writers. This also a way to receive constructive criticism from professionals and get tips on how to become a better writer. Networking is also a way for those who desire a career in freelance writing to communicate with those who want the same. This is a great way to build a support group and long lasting friendships with other writers.

Additional Advice

Even after all the above is completed, it can still be hard to break into the freelance writing world. There is a lot of the competition out there and one will be up against the best of the best writers. A person might get denied from several freelance writing jobs, but one should not let that discourage him or her. The best thing to do is to be diligent, be persistent, keep a positive attitude, keep working hard and keep knocking on doors. Eventually, one will be opened and it will be the beginning of a fantastic career and all of the hard work will pay off financially and most importantly, with personal satisfaction.

Killer Interview Questions and Their Answers

  1. Give me an overview of your experience.

Summarize your skills and experience here and try to ensure it moves from historical experience through to the present day. Ensure that it relates to the new role.

If you have no work history, then look at your training and college or university course and find examples of where you did similar work.

  1. If I asked your friends/colleagues about you what would they say?

This one is a classic. There is no straight answer to this, but you need to have it prepared. Remember to have a positive weakness, as it sounds more realistic.

  1. Why are you leaving your Job?

The answer to this must be positive. If you have been there a while, it’s easy to understand how people move on. If you were made redundant, ensure that you mention that a whole department or team was made redundant.  If it was just you, then it might raise a red flag.

If you were sacked, then you really don’t want to mention this. It’s best to say “The organization wasn’t for me and we decided it was best to move on”.

  1. Are you looking elsewhere?

This can also be worded as “Are you looking at any other jobs”, or “Have you had any interviews”?

This is usually a test.

1) If you have had many interviews and no offers, it might raise question marks.

2) If you have had a couple of interviews and are expecting an offer this week or next, then it will accelerate their decision making.

So always offer the last answer!

Never say “I have been looking for ages, have applied to lots of jobs, had lots of interviews, but no offers!  – It immediately raises a red flag.

  1. What is your ideal job?

Never say “this one” – it shows you are false. Instead go for aspects of any job that you like. For example “I would like to work in an environment where I love the work, have great people that I can learn from” or “I would like to work for a company that invests in its people. I’m not scared of pressure – it helps motivate people”.

  1. What questions do you have?

Always have your list of questions prepared. Never leave without asking something. It can be about a recent business win, or how they would describe the work environment. Don’t forget – this is not the time to ask about the money or the package!

  1. What salary do you want?

A trick question, this one. First of all, if you are going through a recruitment agent or a recruiter, then let them handle this.  Simply say “My recruiter told me not to talk about salary, I’m sure it would be a fair”. If you are not going through a recruiter, then ask what range of salary the position is offering. This is tactical. You need to know the range, as you want to be at the higher limit. Then you suggest somewhere around the higher limit. Do not undersell yourself which is easier said than done. Imagine you are there in the room, you like the job so much that you could easily accept less than you were expecting. But I tell you now, when you are working there for a couple of months you will regret not pushing you salary request higher.

No matter what salary you say, the offer will be lower. So say around the higher figure, and you will get a decent offer.

Freelance Writing Jobs for a Home Business, Best Advice Found Here!

Freelance writing jobs are easier to find now than ever before. The internet has made it easier to find all kinds of home based jobs. But, many of the ads for “typing from home” are nothing more than scams. Asking some simple questions will help you find a real job and avoid the scams.

What does it cost?

A company should not charge you a fee to do work for them. If there is a fee attached to a program you are considering, you should find out what you are really paying for. There are some services that act as intermediaries between employers and contractors. They provide a payment solution for the employer and a list of available projects for the freelancer.

It might be worth signing up with that kind of service in order to find good freelance writing jobs as long as the monthly fee is not too high. But, remember this. You are getting paid less, because the employer is paying the service.

What is the rate of pay?

This is something that you would ask when applying for a traditional job. Most “real” employers fully explain the salary or hourly rate, as well as other types of compensation such as health insurance or paid vacations.

Many companies that offer home based jobs talk about your earning “potential”. You should take a moment to be skeptical if you see that word.

One of the websites advertising under the heading of “typing from home for money” says that all is required of you is to fill out some simple forms. Supposedly, you are filling out these forms for other advertisers. But, the site does not explain how much you make per hour or how you get paid. You have to sign up for the program in order to learn more.

Maybe it’s legit, but it could be a scam. Always read the fine print and never provide your credit card information until you are sure that the program is a worthwhile investment.

Some freelance writing jobs pay well. How much you can earn may depend on how much you can write in a day’s time. If you are not a “bulk writer”, you might not make that much.

When is payment made?

One of the biggest risks of typing from home for others is that once you send them a document, you can’t get it back. You might not be able to collect the promised fee. Many freelancers have been ripped off by unethical individuals and companies.

On the other hand, a legitimate company cannot be expected to pay in full for something that they might never get. Since most of these home based jobs are done by way of telecommuting or email, sending payment in advance is risky.

If this is a true contract for typing from home, you can ask for half of the money in advance. Most companies will expect that.

Do I need to be an expert?

Some of the best freelance writing jobs are for people that are experts in their field. So before you apply for a job, put together a resume that proves you are an expert. You might get more requests than you can handle.

A Career Assessment Test Can Assist You in Selecting Your Home Business

Taking a career assessment test could be invaluable when trying to determine which home business would be right for you.

Many people are looking to change careers during this turbulent time and are looking into starting their own business from home, but just aren’t quite sure what home business would suit them best.

A career assessment test helps you pinpoint your interests so that you’ll be sure to select a business that you would actually enjoy.

When you go to a site which has such a test, you will most likely have to register with that site in order to actually receive the final write-up which lists your strengths and weaknesses in the job arena. There are numerous assessment sites, most of which are free. They may incorporate a job search engine.

You will be given a series of options (usually between 50 and 100) which you are asked to rank as “most interested” or “least interested.” The terminology does vary somewhat from site to site. The options are presented in sets of three and are designed to assess whether you’d be happier and better suited for artistic jobs such as acting, writing, editing, and even legal or more scientific jobs such as researcher, engineer, accountant, and medical.

Once you’ve finished answering the questions during your online job search, you’ll either be shown your report immediately or you will receive the report via e-mail within a few minutes of taking the career assessment test.

These reports are generally broken down into categories based on your responses. The categories include things aptitude, management, ability, and many more.

Most of the categories will come with a narrative which explains your level of interest or skill in that particular category. After this you’ll be presented with the opportunity to pay a fee to actually join that site and utilize their job search engine.

Most of the time these sites, once you’ve paid the fee to join that particular site, will also provide you with a list of jobs and home businesses which are best suited to you based on your responses to the questionnaire.

The nice thing about these reports is it can save you time and money by directing your attention to areas which you may not have considered previously. There are usually links available which allow you to continue to conduct an online job search directly from that site.

So, if you’re ready to change jobs and are interested in starting your own business from home it can be worth your time to take an assessment test to see exactly where your strengths are and then utilize those to start down a new career path.

Info Interviews

An informational interview is an easy way of gathering first-hand information about the skills and personal qualities needed to succeed in a job. It’s not a job interview, that’s what makes it so well.

Who do you talk to?

People can help you answer career questions too. But you will not usually find these helpful people in the Human Resources Department of an organization.

Where are they?

Ask yourself this question: Who needs to know about the career I’m interested in? Usually it’s people who:

  •         hire others to do the job
  •         actually do the work
  •         train people to do the job (talk to community college instructors
  •         run professional organizations (Find the Encyclopedia of Associations at the library)

From these sources create a list of contacts.

How does it work?

Use your contact list to arrange an informational interview. This is an easy way of gathering first-hand information about the skills and personal qualities needed to succeed in a job. It’s not a job interview, that’s what makes informational interviewing work so well. Tell your contact: “I’m not looking for a job today. I’m only looking for some information to help me make a career decision.” This allows them to talk openly about their jobs, business, and industry.

What do I say?

Once you reach the correct person, tell him you have some quick questions and ask if he has a few moments. If he says, “No,” ask for a more convenient time. If he says, “Never, we don’t have any jobs available,” state again that you aren’t looking for a job today. You’re simply looking for information to help make career decisions. Most decision makers understand the need for good information and will help.

When interviewing, use some of the outer research questions. Remember that people love to talk about their work. If you ask good questions, listen carefully and take a real interest in what people say, you’ll learn much.

Outer research

If you can answer these 10 questions about any job that interests you, you’ll know whether your career choice is right.

  1. What is a typical workday like in the life of a __________?
  2. What experience, training, or skills are required to be competitive?
  3. Are there any special problem areas in the job? (dangerous conditions, high stress, boring repetition…..)
  4. What attitudes or personal qualities do employers want in those who do this job?
  5. Are there changes in the industry that will affect this job? (skill changes, automation, downsizing…)
  6. Is there a surplus, balance or shortage of people to do this job?
  7. What is the outlook for the industry? (Declining, growing, staying the same)
  8. What companies or organizations hire people to do this job?
  9. What are the average wages?

10.What are some related or similar jobs?

Inner Research

Inner research is career soul searching before and during job and career search. Start your inner research by spending some time answering these questions:

  1. If I could magically choose any career, what would it be? Why?
  2. How important is this change to me?
  3. What am I willing to do to make this change happen?
  4. How long and how hard am I willing to struggle?
  5. How will this change affect other important people in my life?

Answering these questions may lead to even more questions. Answer all of them. This career soul searching provides essential information for mapping out your career moves.

Career Questions

Sarah’s Story

Sarah had a good paying job with excellent benefits in a large corporation. But she wasn’t happy. At our first career consulting session, she said she felt restless in her work life. She sadly admitted she no longer felt passion for her work. She wanted something different, but didn’t know what.

Sarah had changed during the years at her job. She developed new interests, uncovered new aptitudes, learned new skills. The company changed too. Jobs evolved, departments shifted, functions outsourced. After five years, Sarah found herself misplaced, employed in a job she no longer liked. Sarah isn’t alone. Because of downsizing, closures, on-the-job injuries, and burnout many people find themselves facing the big career question: “What’s the next job or career for me?”

That’s the question Sarah and I agreed to answer. I explained that finding her answer would require research and information; research to uncover possible answers, and information to help her choose the best one. Sarah’s first assignment was simple: list the qualities in her “ideal job.” Her list was short but revealing. She’d love a job where she could work with people, solve problems, flex hours, have variety and travel. She quietly confessed her current job allowed few of these. Her voice grew stronger and her actions more animated as we talked about her interests outside of work: horses, medicine, and travel. She left the session with an assignment: search the library’s computer data base for magazine articles related to her outside interests. Learn about new trends and ideas. Let that information simmer, and then we’d talk.

Become a detective

When we met several weeks later, Sarah gushed with excitement. She had discovered a magazine article about a woman who teaches therapeutic riding to handicapped children. Sarah was hooked and decided to track this woman down. She located several books the teacher had written on the subject. From the books she found her phone number. She called and asked many questions. She arranged to visit the teacher’s ranch during the upcoming summer and see therapeutic riding in action. The teacher pointed her toward a national organization for therapeutic riding. Sarah joined. This brought more information and she located a school that trains and certifies therapeutic riding instructors.

Sarah had the answer to her career question. Her next job would be therapeutic riding instructor. She would stay with her current job while creating this new career.

A one-two approach

Sarah used two kinds of research to find her answer: Inner research, such as describing an ideal job, focused her on finding something she would like rather than dwelling on a job she disliked. Outer research, such as learning to use a computerized database, uncovered helpful information. This one-two approach produced a quick answer.

Not all career questions are answered so quickly. Instead of answers, you may find dead ends. After all, there are more than 12,000 different kinds of jobs in the U.S. and only a few are right for you. Finding the right career is a process of elimination. You start by considering any and all possibilities. Inner research quickly eliminates some, but a few survive the first cut. A round of outer research eliminates more, but also uncovers a few new options to consider. As your list of likely careers shrinks, the match between you and the remaining ones grows. You gather more information and do more career soul searching. Eventually, persistent effort pays off; your career question is answered.

Age and Injury

How to talk about your age

There is a positive way to look at being older:

The good news is that you have had more time to obtain skills and develop profitable work attitudes. As you talk to employers, emphasize these. Focus on how you can do the job well, rather than on how old you are while you are doing it. Present your skills, attitudes, and results you’ve produced with pride, energy, and enthusiasm.

You can influence how a decision maker perceives your age:

  •         Make sure that your job goal is a good fit with your age. Truck drivers, for instance, come in all ages. Construction workers come mainly in one age – young.
  •         Make sure that your job goal matches your physical abilities. Employers only want to know that an older worker can physically do the job. Becoming a security guard is possible for an older person who is physically limited. However, if the job involves wrestling with troublemakers, then it is no longer suitable. Make sure you can physically do all parts of the job and then tell the employer this.

If you are still worried about your age:

  •         Check out the company before you interview. This may require dressing the part of a customer if you are applying at a store. Or waiting near the parking lot of a factory at quitting time. If everyone is under 30 and you are 55, you have a bigger challenge. Remember the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower: “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
  •         Check your appearance. Do you look older than you are? An interviewer does more than just listen to you. He or she will also notice how you look and act. Wear clothing that is stylish, but not too trendy. Get a more modern hairstyle. Learn to move and gesture with more energy. Ask your professional helper for feedback on whether your appearance matches your age.

Talking about abilities and limitations

In the interview, you can control how you present your physical abilities to an employer.

  •         Talk about what you can do–not what you can’t.
  •         Make sure you can do all parts of the job you are seeking. Be able to explain this to an interviewer with examples.
  •         If you have a release from you doctor, bring it with you. This is a benefit to the employer. It’s as if you have had a pre-employment physical.
  •         Help the employer be specific about the parts of the job he or she thinks you may not be able to do. You can only correct a misunderstanding, if you know about it.
  •         Be able to talk about any financial incentives an employer may access by hiring you.
  •         Be prepared to talk about possible job site modifications. You might not be able to change your physical abilities but you can change the job site to match them.

Remember, it’s not just your physical abilities an employer needs. Your attitude, skills, and results you can produce are also important. Let the employer know about these.

Talking about gaps in your employment history

It’s too late to change your work history, but you can present it in the best way possible:

  •         Be able to explain all the gaps. Most people have good reasons for them; practice saying yours.
  •         If jobs ended for reasons you couldn’t control (layoffs, closures, etc.), be able to explain these.
  •         If you made the choice to leave a job, be able to explain why without “bad mouthing” the employer.
  •         If you gained skills or attitudes during your breaks in employment, present these. We often learn valuable lessons outside the workplace that are useful in the workplace.
  •         To an employer, gaps mean that you might not stay long with the company or you may be undependable. Think about how long you would stay at a job before you go to the interview. What kind of commitment are you willing to make?